Harvard Square is known for its quaint shopping and proximity to the internationally-known university, but around the corner from the T-stop lies another Cambridge institution: The Sinclair. Since opening its doors in late 2012, it has become a one-stop destination for delicious food and killer concerts. The Kitchen’s menu features unique twists on classic American favorites, like the “Disco Fries,” which are sure to delight music lovers’ taste buds (if not wallets).

Fortunately, the concert ticket prices are far more reasonable than those of the entrees at The Kitchen. The venue itself is no-frills industrial chic, a perfect atmosphere for the underground and up-and-coming music it showcases. But don’t let the simplicity fool you — there’s not a bad seat in the house. Concertgoers are treated to big-show energy with the intimacy you’d expect from a smaller venue.

Its tiered arrangement is strikingly similar to the House of Blues system of balconies, but on a smaller scale. The most sought-after space in the house is the mini-balcony directly across from the stage, a perfect vantage point at which to watch the show and the crowd below. For the best energy, though, the floor offers both space to dance and a good view of the stage.

Because of its size, The Sinclair doesn’t host the same big-name artists you’d find at the Blue Banks Pavilion or House of Blues, and some shows can lack the appeal necessary to draw a large crowd. But the fans who come to this indie venue are truly there for the music and are often wildly passionate about the artist performing. Bands like New Politics, Milk Carton Kids, Grouplove, RAC, and Sam Smith have all graced the stage of The Sinclair and have since gone on to larger (and more expensive) venues.

You might not always find chart-topping artists here, but you will get up close and personal with the chart-toppers of tomorrow.

Venue Specs

Price: Most ticket prices range between $15-20, with lower prices in advance online

Closest T Stop: Harvard Square (Red Line)

What it is: An intimate, inexpensive location to catch up-and-coming artists

What it’s not: A large venue to see internationally known pop artists

Most likely to: Hear a band in high quality

Least likely to: Suffer uncomfortable physical contact with masses of sweaty strangers

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